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Apple's CarPlay now a $300 option for most BMWs

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Now available after long holdout

BMW buyers in the US will now be able to add Apple CarPlay as an optional $300 extra to most of the company's models, marking a softening in the company's previous resistance to Apple's in-car smartphone interface. Several cars from BMW's 2 to 7 series can now be purchased with CarPlay installed, in addition to models in its higher-end X and M series, as detailed in the German manufacturer's online store.

While peers like Honda were quick to pledge their support to Apple's CarPlay, BMW has kept the technology at arm's length, only hinting last November that it would eventually bring the option to some of its vehicles. Documents leaked earlier this year indicated that the X5 M and X6 M would be among the first vehicles to support CarPlay, with more reports suggesting the 2017 M3 and M4 would also support Apple's interface soon after. While the majority of BMW's cars do now support CarPlay, a number still don't offer the option, including the M5 Sedan, the 440i Coupe, and the electric i3 and i8 models.

BMW had avoided CarPlay until recently, but it's not the first time it has linked up with Apple. The German manufacturer was the first in the world to integrate the iPod into its audio system, and the two companies reportedly held talks about a mysterious "Project Titan" — rumored to be Apple's attempt at its own car — but negotiations collapsed last year. German magazine Handelsblatt said that the two parties disagreed over the handling of customer data: Apple wanted the vehicle to use its own cloud software, while BMW emphasized customer data protection.